As brilliantly and uncomfortably confrontational as its protagonist, Entertainment is a boundary-blurring exercise in cinematic misanthropy that more than lives up to its title.
Total Count: 53
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A broken, aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters.
as Cousin John’s Father-in-Law
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The 33 Is Too Predictable
Part Lynchian hallucination, part deadpan comedy, part existential musing, Rick Alverson’s unique vision is fully realized, and even ugly, but demands to be watched.
March 16, 2020 | Full Review…
There’s a chic emptiness to “Entertainment,” undoubtedly, and anti-comedy constructs that may rub the wrong way, but there’s also a spiky intelligence at work too, one that engages through the artifice of disengagement and the illusion of “performance.”
November 19, 2015 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
It is not fun, but its confrontational style yields dividends.
November 19, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
A daring and mainly successful black comedy about a dour and depressive comedian on a dead-end tour of California.
November 19, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
The Comedian is an ugly man with an ugly soul, and an ugly sense of comedy that at one point literally includes making fart noises for 90 full seconds as he pretends to gun down his silent audience with a soccer trophy.
November 13, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Like Hamburger’s meta-hacky comedy routine, the film confronts and challenges in order to produce something increasingly rare in American cinema: an active, engaged experience.
November 13, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Globe and Mail
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Apr 06, 2016
None of the reviews to this mentioned Neil Hamburger. This is, essentially, a Sisyphean biopic about Neil Hamburger’s career (with a Lynchean twist!). Great shots. Everything else sucks horribly. Sitting through this film was arduous. Without the payoff of a joke that is an occasional happenstance on a Neil Hamburger record, this movie just seems flat. Not even the silly extras (or friends of Rick or Gregg) pulled a laugh out of me. Such a sad film about comedy, and a laughless film about existential worthlessness. But that’s ENTERTAINMENT!!!!! sadness and mediocrity. I wish I could drink enough to forget more of this film.
Nov 19, 2015
As mean spirited a thing as a thing could be, this relentlessly bitter view of life and of people tells the story of a dive comedian on the road of dive venues. He is not happy. His jokes are not funny. Perhaps the humor of this piece, the “entertainment” is ironic, a statement that nothing is really entertaining, that life is simply shit. Okay. But as an argument over coffee, not as a film experience. Suicide is an redemptive alternative compared to this.
Oct 12, 2015
Bizarre, divisive, bleak, black comedy, with a superlative music score and an incredibly deranged lead performance.
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|The Comedian:||Why don’t rapists eat at T.G.I. Friday’s? It’s hard to rape with a stomach-ache.|
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